Improved baggage handling helps air transport industry save $18m in 2014

26 March 2015 (Last Updated March 26th, 2015 18:30)

Air transport communications and information technology specialist SITA has released a report that said the air transport industry has decreased the rate of mishandled bags by 61.3% across the world since 2007.

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Air transport communications and information technology specialist SITA has released a report that said the air transport industry has decreased the rate of mishandled bags by 61.3% across the world since 2007.

The investment of airports and airlines in the latest technology for enhancing passenger and baggage processing has contributed in reducing the number of such incidences.

According to the latest report, the rate of mishandled bags has gone down from 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007 to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers in 2014 which has helped the industry save close to $18m.

While the industry recorded an all-time low percentage of 6.96% in 2013, the number of baggage mishandling in 2014 increased to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers owing to a 5.5% rise in global passenger numbers and 79.7% increase in aircraft load.

"This improvement in baggage handling over the past seven years is largely a result of strong technology investment and innovation in baggage systems automation and processes."

In 2014, 49% of the total numbers accounted to mishandled transfer bags, the majority of which were reunited with passengers within a maximum of two days.

SITA CEO Francesco Violante said: "This improvement in baggage handling over the past seven years is largely a result of strong technology investment and innovation in baggage systems automation and processes.

"However, rising passenger numbers will continue to place pressure on baggage infrastructure and processes, so the industry cannot afford to become complacent. With IATA forecasting continued passenger growth of around 7% in 2015, all industry partners will need to continue to invest, collaborate and focus on baggage management."

The report also demonstrated a positive trend with 59% of airports saying they would invest in major self-service programmes in the next three years owing to the increasing desire of passengers for having more control over their journeys.

Close to 69% of airlines have also expressed a desire to provide passengers with real-time updates on the location of their bags by 2017 and 66% have said that they would work on providing the facility with the help of smartphone apps.

The report is also hopeful that baggage tracking will further improve with the IATA Resolution 753: Baggage Tracking which is set to be implemented in 2018 whereby IATA members would be required to maintain an accurate inventory of baggage by monitoring the acquisition and delivery of baggage.


Image: The incidence of baggage mishandling has decreased from 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007 to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers in 2014. Photo: courtesy of SITA.